Dew falls from the moon,
glistens still, the sound in bones.
North wind chills the night;
the Chronograph Star hangs low—
the fertile morrow dormant.
Formaldehyde on fatigues
green on this bald-headed league
– full of vigor, shorn like sheep –
that sweeps the dorm and soon sleeps.
Only to be awakened
by reveille earaching
the tortured troops to withstand
more demands: crazy commands.
Marching to classes in file,
tramping down the urge to smile,
but can’t check the teary dusk—
the eve brusque, full of male musk.
My pate scratches like boar hide.
Will this snowflake get outside
unmarred by rusty wing nuts
with jackboot strut and crew cuts?
W. S. Boxx
8428 Canterbury Court
Estcourt Station, Maine 04741
November 3, 2017
The erasure of cursive from the pedagogic strategies of core curriculum signals a loss in the culture, a fork towards the information age. Art, in the form of elaborate, thoughtful letters such as those of John and Abigail fossilize before us into petroglyphs like trilobites from the Cambrian explosion. Extant messages know not the dipped quill from the inkwell, the measured meditations scribed on parchment under the flicker of candlelight, for now, electrons snuff out the tapers of yesteryears and speed instant thought from geocentric orbits as light skips along the aether. Does it matter, dear friend, in a world where change is the only constant, the uncertainty of quantum mechanics creeping into every facet of foundation, maybe ?
The loops and swirls repeated ad nauseum on ruled newsprint paper until the death of the hand in cramping paralysis, regarded at the time as pointless exercise, have indeed been deemed just so, a waste of the scholastic time allotted, time better purposed by grounding the student in education geared for the cog-less machinery of the digital future, so: keyboarding. The solid earth on which one tottled forward on in insouciant surety proves to be riddled with limestone caverns and shifts underfoot. Has my brief time been wasted in groundwork unfounded ? The binary code sweeps away such expertise as quaint calligraphic messaging and multiplicative grid rote into the ash-heap of the obsolete.
Walter S. Boxx
P. S. The frames of the flipbook shuffle by so quickly that my eyes water from the ruffled air.
The ball. The death.
A shibboleth: Here we go round the mulberry bush
so early in the morning.
A customary fall, a sheep asleep:
a pull to the deep—safety in numbers
of the turning baitball, the teamwork of predators:
dolphin, tuna, sailfish and shark;
gannets, cormorants, terns and gulls:
death from the sky and death from the sea.
edge of measure,
amorphous: dwindling like incandescent kindling;
the scarlet ribbon courses:
tragic drama of pelagic
runs, an attrition of sardines or herring.
A singular fish
dives perpendicular to the piscatorial
emergence against predation:
a divergence from the rest
(reticular loss of lives), primordial.
text: be dexterous, quick, jump over the candlestick.
The hollow of the rocky nook
swallows the gifted swimmer:
A hammerlock school overtook—you rock fish—
That’s just like what a cloud would do:
to feather into marshmallow
and popcorn with butter highlights;
to coast on thermals and billow
into shapes large, larger, largest;
into a beast hurling lightning
drawing the four winds into storm,
these changeable clouds so fickle.
ALL DAY, WE TALK about “the end of the world”: the sun, black as sackcloth: the moon: as blood; country children, the afternoon, smell of petrichor, wind picking up. The bluster silences the others still up front. She appears, glowing above the field out back, like fabric in the wind.
A DEMON RESIDES within Chip’s soul. His mood flip-flops and the faint sound of wind chimes announce his appearances. Chip is a bushy, black dog of questionable ancestry. One night on a walk, dark forces awaken.
Chip pulls the chain taut like sledding huskies, tail high, seemingly happy, but with Chip nothing is certain. Midnight nears, the projects quiet: only the jangle of the dog tag in the night chill.
Suddenly, infrasound vibrates through the chain; then swells into a ferocious growl. Chip wheels around in attack mode, fangs gnashing. Sensing danger behind, Chip fends off an ambushing dog pack.